Body Types – All You Need to Know

25 mins read
body types

The American scientist Dr. William Sheldon for the first time categorized the human body into three different types: ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph.

There are few people who can fully belong to a certain type. Usually, most are a combination of different types, but always one is predominant.

To find out what type your body belongs to, keep reading down below.

Mesomorph body type

The category of “muscular” actually falls under several somatotypes. Different types of natural athletes need to follow different fitness strategies to bring their natural endowments to a higher level.

These are people with pronounced muscles, broad shoulders, broad palms, short fingers, large forearms, and calves. It is important to note that the best time to report mesomorphy is late puberty. Sports practice makes it difficult to report mesomorphy due to the increased percentage of muscle mass in athletes.

Types of mesomorphs:

  • Absolute mesomorph – (1-7-1)
  • Balanced mesomorph – (3-5-3, 3-6-3, 4-6-4, 2-5-2, 2-7-2, 3-7-3, 4-7-4, 5-7- 5, etc.)
  • Ectomorph-Mesomorph (3-5-5, 4-6-6, 5-7-7, 2-5-5, 1-4-4, etc.)
  • Ectomorphic mesomorph (ecto-mesomorphic) – (3-5-4, 4-6-5, 5-7-6, 2-5-3, 2-5-4, etc.)
  • Endomorphic mesomorph (endomosomorphic) – (4-5-3, 3-4-1, 5-7-3, 6-7-2, 4-6-2, 3-5-1, etc.)

Absolute mesomorph

Short and muscular men and women with moderately thick to thick bones. They have a wide chest, broad shoulders, usually a small waist, well-developed calves, and forearms. They usually have a very low percentage of subcutaneous fat. Male gymnasts are a good example of a developed absolute mesomorph.

Fitness recommendations:

Muscle gain program – 3 to 5 workouts per week lasting up to an hour and a half, during which you should do 10 minutes of warm-up, 50-70 minutes of weight training, and 10-15 minutes of low-intensity cardio.

Fitness program – 4 workouts per week lasting up to an hour and a half, during which you should do 10 minutes of warm-up, 50-60 minutes of weight training, and up to 30 minutes of moderate cardio.

Fat burning program – 5 workouts per week lasting up to an hour and a half, during which you should do 10 minutes of warm-up, 50 minutes of weight training, and up to 40 minutes of medium to high-intensity cardio.

Dietary recommendations:

Increase muscle mass:

  • High Carbohydrate Diet
  • Low Carb High Fat Diet
  • Evenly balanced diet

Keeping fit:

  • Evenly balanced diet
  • Low carb diet

Fat burning:

  • Low carb diet
  • Evenly balanced diet

Balanced mesomorph

Depending on height and weight, these are men and women with visibly distinct muscles and a moderate percentage of subcutaneous fat (10-15%). They have well-developed forearms and calves.

Fitness recommendations:

Weight gain: Depending on the percentage of subcutaneous fat, there are two options for people with such somatopathy to gain weight with fat control or to gain weight with high-caloric excess and heavy training.

  • If you increase the impact, the program should be 4 to 5 workouts per week lasting up to an hour and a half, during which you should do 10 minutes of warm-up, 50-70 minutes of weight training, and 10-15 minutes of low-intensity cardio.
  • If you increase smoothly, the program should be 5 workouts per week lasting up to an hour and fifteen minutes, during which you should do 5 minutes of warm-up, 50-60 minutes of weight training, and 10 minutes of low-intensity cardio.

Keeping fit: 3 to 4 workouts per week lasting up to an hour and fifteen minutes, during which you should do 5 minutes of warm-up, 50 minutes of weight training, and up to 15 minutes of moderate cardio.

Fat burning: I recommend smooth fat loss, with a moderate calorie deficit, although it is possible to lose weight. Muscle mass will suffer from the latter with a poorly calculated menu and protein deficiency.

  • For rapid weight loss: six workouts per week, three per 1 hour and twenty minutes, and three per 1 hour. In the first three – 5 minutes of warm-up, 45 minutes of weight training, and thirty minutes of low-intensity cardio. In the latter – 5 minutes of warm-up, 30 minutes of weight training, and 25 minutes of high-intensity cardio.
  • For smooth weight loss: five workouts per week lasting up to an hour and ten minutes, during which 5 minutes of warm-up, 45 minutes of weight training, and 20 minutes of high-intensity cardio.

Dietary recommendations:

It is best to use smooth strategies because if the menu calculation is not performed correctly, the adjustments will be timely. Otherwise, a heavier athlete can “blur” his shape even for two weeks.

Increase muscle mass:

  • Low Carbohydrate – High Fat Diet
  • Evenly balanced diet

Keeping fit:

  • Evenly balanced diet
  • Low carb diet

Fat burning:

  • Low carb diet

Ectomorph-Mesomorph

These are people with medium to tall stature, elongated muscular figures, and a low percentage of subcutaneous fat. They are more muscular than meso-ectomorphs and ecto-mesomorphs but are often shorter than them.

Fitness recommendations:

Athletes of this type usually talk about maintaining shape or gaining muscle mass.

Gain weight: Four training days up to an hour and ten minutes each, during which 5 minutes of warm-up, 50 minutes of weight training, and 10 minutes of low-intensity cardio.

Keeping fit: Three to four days a week lasting up to an hour and fifteen minutes, during which 5 minutes of warm-up, 60 minutes of weight training, and 10 minutes of low-intensity cardio.

Dietary recommendations:

Increase muscle mass:

  • High Carbohydrate Diet
  • Evenly balanced diet

Keeping fit:

  • Evenly balanced diet

Ectomorphic mesomorph

Tall and moderately muscular. Usually, people with this somatotype have moderately thick bones and a low percentage of subcutaneous fat (less than 10%).

Fitness recommendations:

Here we will talk about increasing muscle mass because the tall stature of people of this somatotype visually “spills” their muscle structure. Four to five workouts a week lasting up to an hour to ten minutes, workouts with cardio and two without.

It is appropriate to combine shoulders and cardio and hands cardio and chest and cardio. The back and thighs are better to train on days without cardio. Here’s what an ectomorphic mesomorph mass workout would look like:

  • 5 minutes warm-up
  • 55-65 minutes of working with weights.
  • On mixed days: 5 minutes of warm-ups, 55 minutes of weight training, and 10 minutes of low-intensity cardio to finish.

Dietary recommendations:

Increase muscle mass:

  • High Carbohydrate Diet
  • Evenly balanced diet

Endomorphic mesomorph (endomosomorphic)

Low to medium height with massive bone structure, clear muscles, and moderate to a high percentage of subcutaneous fat (15-25%).

Fitness recommendations:

This is primarily about reshaping and burning subcutaneous fat. People of this type very quickly and easily gain muscle mass. They have high levels of testosterone, are sensitive to insulin, and have a high number of steroid receptors on the membranes of their muscle cells.

During reshaping, the athlete strives to gain weight at the expense of fat. A five-day training program lasting an hour and a half is used. 10 minutes of warm-up, an hour of weight training, and 20 minutes of moderately intense cardio on a strict diet give the desired result.

When fat burning, the days remain five, the cardio element increases by 10 minutes and becomes highly intense. That’s how the workout goes, 100 minutes.

Dietary recommendations:

Adherence to a strict diet is desirable. People of this type rely on their ability to easily burn fat because of their massive muscles, but forget how easily they regain it.

Reform:

  • Evenly balanced diet
  • Low carb diet

Fat burning:

  • Low carb diet

Ectomorph body type

These are people with elongated body structure, narrow shoulders, and narrow hips, most often with thin to normal bone thickness.

Types of ectomorphs

  • Absolute Ectomorph – (1-1-7)
  • Balanced ectomorph – (3-3-5, 3-3-6, 4-4-6, 2-2-5, 2-2-7, 3-3-7, 4-4-7, 5-5- 7, etc.)
  • Mesomorphic ectomorph – (3-4-5, 4-5-6, 5-6-7, 2-3-5, 2-4-5, etc.)
  • Endomorphic ectomorph – (endo-ectomorphic) – (4-3-5, 5-4-6, 6-5-7, etc.)
  • Endomorph-ectomorph – (4-3-4, 3-2-3, 3-1-3, 5-3-5, 4-2-4, 6-4-6, etc.)

Absolute ectomorph

These are tall and thin (bony) men and women with narrow shoulders and hips, who do not differ much in different widths. They have a low percentage of subcutaneous fat and poorly developed muscles.

Nowadays, due to the widely available high-calorie food, this type can be confused with another type of ectomorphy, especially if an athlete is analyzed. To belong to this type, the analyzed person should also have thin bones and elongated facial features, as well as long thin fingers and narrow palms.

Fitness recommendations:

Increasing muscle mass is especially necessary for both men and women. Weight training for 45 to 50 minutes without any aerobic training is the best option. Three to four workouts a week and mandatory every other day. Allow yourself at least three minutes to rest between sets and exercises, at least at the beginning.

Dietary recommendations:

This type of ectomorph cannot afford to train without a diet. They are characterized by low blood sugar and sometimes chronic low blood pressure. They are weakly sensitive to insulin and have difficulty forming fat.

Cortisol has an extremely bad effect on them. They should have at least four main meals a day, and at best they can supplement their diet with high-calorie drinks and protein snacks the rest of the time.

I recommend fast digestible protein sources in the first half of the day – meat/whey and slow protein in the last two meals – eggs, casein, and eggs, but not soy, because it contains estrogen.

Recommended diet: High carb diet

Balanced ectomorph

Elongated rather than muscular or overweight. In fact, it is a fairly common somatotype. It is not necessary for a person to be tall to fall under, but it should be at least medium in height.

The bones are of normal thickness and the chest is particularly well developed in men and the pelvis in women. The palms are often medium or wide, and the fingers are no shorter than the length of the palm.

Fitness recommendations:

Here we should mainly discuss the increase in muscle mass because even the path to clearing the abdominal area goes through greater muscle weight because the latter is a calorie-burning machine that needs to be developed.

Four to five weight training sessions per week lasting up to an hour will help. Aerobic exercise should be included in the program of athletes at a late stage when the necessary muscles are already available.

Dietary recommendations:

It is advisable to increase the controlled total share of muscle mass in the body, by observing a balanced menu with a moderate excess of calories. Recommended diets:

Gaining Muscle Mass

  • A Balanced Diet

Staying fit

  • Evenly balanced diet

Mesomorphic ectomorph

Medium to high with clearly distinguishable muscles and medium to thick bones. Wide palms and fingers close to the length of the palm. Usually, this is the imposed vision for the man in fashion, not too tall and not too muscular, but a little of both.

Fitness recommendations:

Keeping fit or gaining muscle mass are the two paths in which athletes with this somatotype walk. Maintaining three weight training sessions per week with up to fifteen minutes of low-intensity aerobic exercise is a good option.

When gaining weight, I recommend four to five workouts a week with weights, without aerobic elements, except for warming up. Duration from 50 minutes to an hour is optimal in this case.

Dietary recommendations:

Maintaining weight

  • Evenly balanced diet

Gradual weight gain

  • Evenly balanced diet

Rapid weight gain

  • High carb diet

Endomorphic ectomorph (endo-ectomorphic)

Tall with thick bones and a moderately high percentage of subcutaneous fat (25-30%) or with medium height elongated bone structure, moderately high percentage of subcutaneous fat and low percentage of muscle mass.

Fitness recommendations:

Gradual shaping through a small change in weight is the most successful option. Four to five workouts per week with weights (35-40 minutes of intense work) and up to 25 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise. It is also possible to alternate periods of longer duration with weight training and those with an emphasis on cardio elements.

Dietary recommendations:

Weight gain

  • Evenly balanced diet

Weight maintenance and shaping

  • Evenly balanced diet

Fat Loss

  • A Balanced Diet

Endomorph-ectomorph

Medium to tall, with thin bones and moderate to a high-fat percentage (30% and above). Poorly developed muscles.

Fitness recommendations:

The road to a fitness body will be long and uneven. Serious perseverance is required and no sudden changes in diet and training frequency, no breaks for more than a month.

The reason things are so complicated for people with this type of body is the low level of muscle mass, which should actually burn fat. In the beginning, it’s a combined fitness technique with weights: cardio workouts in a ratio of 50:50.

Over time, the emphasis shifts in one direction or the other according to seasonal changes. A minimum of four to six workouts per week lasting up to 70 minutes.

Dietary recommendations:

Balanced nutrition during all training periods:

Weight gain

  • Evenly balanced diet

Weight maintenance and shaping

  • Evenly balanced diet

Fat Loss

  • A Balanced Diet

Endomorph body type

No matter how muscular or thin, they all need special attention to exercise and diet. These are people with a higher percentage of subcutaneous fat, which gives a round shape to the body, people with not so well-defined muscles.

Types of endomorphs + central

  • Absolute endomorph – (7-1-1)
  • Balanced endomorph – (5-3-3, 6-3-3, 6-4-4, 5-2-2, 7-2-2, 7-3-3, 7-4-4, 7-5- 5, etc.)
  • Mesomorphic endomorph: – (5-4-3, 6-5-4, 7-6-5, etc.)
  • Ectomorphic endomorph (ecto-endomorphic) – (5-3-4, 6-4-5, 7-5-6, etc.)
  • Central – not endomorphic, not mesomorphic, not ectomorphic (3-3-4, 2-2-3, 3-3-3, 3-3-2, 4-4-4, 3-4-3 and etc.)

Absolute endomorph

Short people with thin and short or thick and short bones, and very underdeveloped muscles, as well as shrugged shoulders. Even today, this somatotype is more common in women of short stature than in men of short stature.

Fitness recommendations:

It is best to train 5-7 times a week with short workouts with weights and cardio and only with short cardio workouts on other days. The ratio of mixed workouts: cardio workouts are 3:4, 3:3, 2:3, respectively for 7, 6, and 5 training days.

Men in this group have low levels of steroid receptors in their muscles. That is why I recommend them to strive for low weight and high density with a gradual reduction of adipose tissue.

Dietary recommendations:

These are people with lower testosterone levels and generally elevated estrogen. They are often sensitive to insulin, so they are required to eat a diet rich in fiber, slow carbohydrates (with a glycemic index below 40), and no sugars! I recommend a low-carb diet.

Balanced endomorph

The fat component predominates, even at medium height with moderately developed muscles, it remains hidden and evenly distributed.

Fitness recommendations:

4 to 6 workouts per week, weights + cardio: cardio 2:2, 3:2, 2:3, 3:3, respectively for 4, 5, 5, and 6 days. If the mesomorphic component is 3 or 4, the chances of getting a clearer fitness are high, but depend on a strict constant diet.

Dietary recommendations:

A moderately low-carb diet is the best choice here, control is required even on carb-loading days.

Mesomorphic endomorph

The endomorphic component is the highest, followed by the mesomorphic one. These are people of short to medium height, thick bones, well-developed muscles, but unfortunately covered in fat. The muscles are visible mainly on the arms and calves, as well as on the developed thighs and glutes.

Fitness recommendations:

There are two paths for this type of person: the strength athlete and the fitness bodybuilder. According to my personal observations, most endomorphic mesomorphs are engaged in strength bodybuilding, without emphasizing the cleansing of fat. In other words, they are in a constant main period.

I recommend training 5 to 7 days a week in combination with weight training + moderate cardio: only moderate cardio (up to 45 minutes) in a ratio of 4:3, 3:3, 3:2, respectively for 7, 6, and 5 days.

Dietary recommendations:

In gaining period

  • a strict evenly balanced diet

In shaping

  • a strict evenly balanced diet

In weight loss

  • a strict low-carbohydrate diet

Ectomorphic endomorph (ecto-endomorphic)

These are people with medium to tall stature, poorly to medium muscular vision, for which the linear length of the body is lost, and a high percentage of subcutaneous fat.

Fitness recommendations:

People with this somatotype are suitable for swimmers. Aside from that, if they want to build a higher percentage of muscle tissue compared to a lower percentage of fat, I recommend that they be in a constant period of reshaping.

Abrupt changes in periods of fat reduction with periods of increase would be a waste of time. The reason for this is their high sensitivity to carbohydrates and relatively low levels of testosterone or the low number of testosterone receptors in the muscles.

Five training days a week in a combination of weight training (40-45 minutes) and a moderately intense 20-30 minute cardio finish.

Dietary recommendations:

Constant control over carbohydrates and protein. Avoid fast carbs after 14 hours. Suitable diets are:

  • Low-carb diet
  • Evenly balanced diet

Central

Short to tall, with an athletic structure and a moderate percentage of subcutaneous fat, revealing the back, chest muscles, arm muscles, and to some extent the thigh muscles.

Usually, the problem fats are “beer belly” in men and “breeches” on the thighs along with a larger butt in women. This is the golden mean in sports. From this somatotype, steps are possible in the direction of almost all sports depending on the height and weight of the person.

Fitness recommendations:

In general, a lot can be experimented with. Experiments in various training strategies are possible, for example, year-round training only to increase muscle mass, from half-year periods for gradual fat burning to three-month fast fat reduction programs.

It can be trained in a constant shaping period without sudden changes in diet and training program. I am a supporter of the latter system.

Dietary recommendations:

Experiments in all diets in sync with the training strategy are possible. These are people who get in shape quickly and lose interest just as quickly.

People with a central somatotype most often play more than one sport or do not play sports at all, because they are “normal” and if they have a good eating culture, they remain “normal” until late middle age. People in this group most often need motivation, not a strict diet or an expert fitness program.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of The Sized delivered to your inbox daily.